Shorthorn genetics defied the odds on the grid recently; two purebred heifers graded USDA Prime, Yield Grade 1. Two others on the same load stamped Prime Yield Grade 2. This combination of marbling and cutability is extremely rare; only 0.032% of all cattle quality and yield graded in 2011 achieved this feat, just 0.638% graded Prime Y2. The Smithers family loaded 32 head of purebred Shorthorns from their on-farm feedlot in west-central IL. The load did 91% Choice or better (16% Prime), and no Yield Grade 4s or 5s. "The top end of these cattle were actually pulled off earlier for our local freezer beef business...obviously, our customers have been pretty happy with the beef," stated Jess Smithers. "This group was all quarter and half-siblings from our walking herd sires," he added.
Dr. Bert Moore, Executive Secretary of the American Shorthorn Association (ASA) says the breed is working hard to expand its role within the beef cattle industry. He explained, "while news like this is exciting, we hope it translates into demand for Shorthorn bulls and females in volume." According to the USDA Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) across-breed EPD adjustments, Shorthorns rank among the top breeds for Marbling EPD, yet they also maintain a significant advantage in Fat EPD, the driver of USDA Yield Grade. For more information about Shorthorn genetics, visit the ASA website at www.shorthorn.org, or contact a Field Representative.
The mission of the ASA is to provide quality service and support to its members by promoting the value of Shorthorn cattle in all aspects of the beef industry, while maintaining the integrity of the herd book and performance database. The ASA is headquartered in Omaha, Neb., and was founded in 1872 with herd book records going back to 1822. As one of the oldest American breed associations, the ASA provides services for more than 6,000 junior and senior members who register nearly 18,000 cattle annually. The American Junior Shorthorn Association promotes personal development through youth activities and educational events. The AJSA is dedicated to the betterment of its members, promotes valuable skills, and fosters friendships that will last a lifetime. To learn more, contact the ASA office or visit www.shorthorn.org or www.juniorshorthorn.com.